REGULAR readers will know that covering TV awards is not in any way to be confused with glamour.
The British Soap Awards were recorded yesterday at BBC TV Centre in west London.
It was still sunny as I went through security and down to a windowless basement room just after 4pm.
Walking through the corridors, we were overtaken by a group of Olivers in High School Musical sports gear.
Sat in the press bunker, you could also hear the distant strain of the I’d Do Anything orchestra in a nearby studio.
By the time the awards had finished and the last interviews were done, the clock was ticking towards 11pm.
ITV1 will screen the British Soap Awards at 8pm this Wednesday and did a good job of bringing some of the winners and award presenters down to talk to us.
Not everyone wanted to chat, or could be spared from the recording.
Some audience members ignored requests not to chew gum on camera.
While others disregarded the plea that this would be a non-stop recording and dashed to the toilets in the short gaps where the commercial breaks will appear.
As is normal at such events, the press room had a TV and audio feed from the main studio.
There was also a hard-working team from ITV publicity keeping us informed of everything that was going on via their radio headsets – from first arrival on the red carpet to final interview.
One even very kindly obtained the football scores for me.
Aside from the awards for Liz Dawn and Michelle Keegan, previously blogged upon, here are some other things I noted on the night:
1) EastEnders may have won Best Soap, but Corrie scooped more awards. The final tally was: Hollyoaks: 6 / Corrie: 5 / EastEnders: 4 / Emmerdale: 2.
2) The cast of BBC1’s Doctors looking unhappy at leaving empty-handed.
3) The red carpet was actually purple and sprinkled with silver stars.
4) A Harry Hill TV Burp soap special screened before the recording to “relax” the audience.
5) Rob James Collier (Liam Connor) not looking massively impressed with being voted Sexiest Male for the second year in a row. His comment: “Thank you very much for this award, that really reflects acting ability…”
6) Katherine Kelly – Corrie’s Becky Grainger – hard done to in walking away with nothing on the night despite three nominations, but collecting Maggie Jones’ (Blanche Hunt) award for Best Comedy Performance with good grace…even though she had also been a nominee. A class act.
7) Katherine on Maggie: “She’d have loved to have been here tonight, Maggie. She’s an absolutely awesome, lovely lady – she’s nothing like Blanche, I promise you.”
8) Award presenter Mark Gatiss joking about the reason why Maggie Jones could not be present to collect her accolade. “Unfortunately, Maggie can’t be with us tonight because she’s filming the new series of Skins.” In reality, Maggie is still recovering after her fall.
9) David Neilson – Corrie’s Roy Cropper – looking all smiles despite losing out on Best Screen Partnership with Katherine Kelly, as Becky Grainger.
10) Phillip Schofield doing his usual professional job after the death two days’ earlier of his father Brian.
11) Corrie’s Brooke Vincent, who plays Sophie Webster, all grown up on the purple carpet. She lost out in Best Dramatic Performance From A Young Actor but has already shown on screen that she is a future award winner.
12) Emmerdale’s Roxanne Pallett having a slight wardrobe malfunction on the the way up the same carpet.
13) Barbara Windsor talking to absolutely everyone on the way in and, as usual, paying tribute to all the soaps after EastEnders won Best British Soap.
14) The Best British Soap award was presented by Dallas legend Linda Gray, who rather charmingly insisted on shaking my hand after we spoke in the press room.
15) Corrie’s Vicky Entwistle (Janice Battersby) with a striking hairstyle.
16) Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood being a touch coy about the reported “pay row” ahead of the next BBC1 series. Having presented Villain of the Year to Jack P Shepherd, he said all four UK judges were united, insisted their demand was realistic and they were not, themselves, villains.
17) Barry Humphries dashing from the I’d Do Anything studio to present the Best Storyline Award.
18) Kym Ryder (Michelle Connor) missing out on Best Actress and Sexiest Female but congratulating all the Corrie winners.
19) Jack P Shepherd in the press room, dedicating his Best Villain award to Helen Worth, who plays screen mum Gail. “Helen has been like my Jedi master, really. She’s always taught me the ways of everything and took me under her wing. I love her. So I dedicate my award to Helen tonight.”
20) Jack and many other soap stars headed in the direction of the bar. “I’ve got the after show party and then wherever the night takes me.”
21) Julie Goodyear introducing a showreel to celebrate the British Soap Awards’ 10th anniversary. “I love soaps, and not just because I was in one,” she said, “but because the characters are so real – it’s no wonder soaps continually create the most talked about TV in Britain.”
British Soap Awards: Liz Dawn
British Soap Awards: Michelle Keegan